Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Kerry at the Podium of Lincoln / Why, Why Did I Buy Such a Shitty Camera? 

Kerry at Cooper Union's Great Hall. AmCop staff in full attendance. One AmCopper described the speech as a "gentle pushback" at the swift boat smears (which we now know--as if anyone needed proof--have been coordinated directly with the Bush re-election campaign), while sticking limpet-like to the core-message Stronger at Home, Respected in the World themes.

Sez the Times:
Speaking in New York City just days before it plays host to the Republican National Convention, Senator John Kerry on Tuesday painted the election as a stark choice between a mudslinging incumbent and "new leadership" bursting with plans to help the middle class.

"The Bush campaign and its allies have turned to the tactics of fear and smear because they can't talk about jobs, health care, energy independence and rebuilding our alliances," Mr. Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, told a handpicked and partisan crowd in the Great Hall at Cooper Union in Lower Manhattan.

[cont'd.] Having surrounded himself with veterans last month at his own nominating convention, where he started his speech with a salute, Mr. Kerry received a standing ovation on Tuesday stretching nearly a minute with a single sentence summarizing his service: "I defended this country as a young man, and I will defend it as president."

[cont'd.] Later, at a fund-raiser in Philadelphia, Mr. Kerry called the attacks "so petty it is almost pathetic" but then responded to their substance more directly than he had. Noting that some have criticized him for staying in Vietnam for just four months, Mr. Kerry said: "Well, I was there longer than that, number one. Number two, I served two tours. Number three, they thought enough of my service to make me aide to an admiral.

"The Navy, 35 years ago, made the awards that they made under the normal process that they made, and I am proud of them," he continued. "And I am proud of my service, and I am proud that I stood up against the war when I came home, because it was the right thing to do."
[cont'd.] Initially, some Democrats expressed concern that Mr. Kerry was too slow to respond to the charges of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, allowing them to eat away at his Vietnam history, which he has used as a cornerstone of his case for becoming commander in chief.

But he and his aides now seem to be embracing the contretemps, with advisers arguing that any mention of his Vietnam record is helpful and that they will be able to use the Swift boat group to tar the Bush campaign with a dirty-politics label.

These guys think so, at least. I spoke briefly to these members of Republicans for Kerry (the guy in the red shirt is a Vietnam vet) outside Cooper Union after the speech. Because of my shitty camera you can't see that one of the signs on the flag post reads something to the effect of "Bush couldn't defend shit." The red-shirted guy is pretty confident that the swift boat lies--being so egregious, and coming from (or in support of) such an egregious coward as Bush--can't have a long life, and will blow up on Bush.

I sure hope he's right.


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